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March 2010

Learn the power and secrets to success from extraordinary CEOs 


PowerHou Managem

1884 W. Dean Road,Stree Jac 1225 Beaver 904-265-0765 Phone: 904-265-0765 Cell: 904-240-7044 904-240-7044 o Website: www.phanc www.phanc Email: info@phancho E-mail: ethel@phanch

People You Can Trust. Business Consulting Services

Business Valuation Services

PowerHouse will assist you in achieving your performance goals and rewarding competitive edge. We will provide the missing links that will help power your business operation in the following areas: • Strategy Consulting Services • General Business Analysis • Internal Operational Analysis • Risk Management Service • Small Business Counseling • Employee Training • Business Planning • Job Task Analysis • SWOT Analysis • Business Registration • Non-Profit Registration - 501(c)(3) • Marketing Strategy Formulation • Market/Product Research

PowerHouse Anchor Management con experts are value-focus, when it comes to ing you in assessing the worth of your b or assets. We are proficient in the followi vice areas: • Capital Structure and Planning • Buy/ Sell Agreements • Economic Damages • Business Mergers, Acquisitions • Tax regulatory Authorities Claims • Funding and Investing Options • Partnership Dissolution or New Engage • Buying and Selling a Business • Estate and Gift Tax Planning




use Anchor ment Consulting , Inc

cksonville, FL 32216 et, Suite 125 Jacksonville , FL 32204 55•• Fax: FAX:866-593-9325 904-265-0766 or 904-254-9343 904-254-9343 chor.com chor.com or.com hor.com

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Tax Services

PowerHouse Anchor management understands the requirements, policies, and accountabilities expected for individuals; small, medium, and large businesses in reporting government- administered income taxes. We can prepare your federal and, state, and local tax returns representing all the states. • Business Tax • Individual Tax • Sales and Use Tax • Pre-sales Tax Audit • Tax Planning • Business Tax Compliance • Transaction Tax

Accounting Services We understand the importance of financial information and cash flow management to our client’s business. Our proactive financial counsel will help you on the following areas: • Compilation • Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual Bookkeeping Services • Financial Statement Analysis • Cash Flow Management • Forensic Accounting • QuickBooks Training • Bank Reconciliation • General Ledger Posting • Personal Financial Planning • Profit Improvement • Cost Reductions Planning & Evaluation




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entrepreneurs contents

Success Stories 10 Chris Fey 14 Andy Harold

24 Hezekiah Griggs III 31 Mary Tappouni

Articles 06 Strategic Planning 12 Branding Made Personal 17 WIFI Network 19 Working Capital Management 28 Financial Strength 33 Results - Only Work Environment 34 Independent Contractor or Employee 36 Face-to-Face Networking 38 Practice Compassion 


Economic Crisis – A Wake-up Call!

Editorial Publisher/Editor in Chief Ethelbert Nwanegbo Co Publisher/ Assistant Editor Dr. Francis Ikeokwu, Sr. Freelance Journalist Susan D. Brandenburg Art Creative Director Felicia Wright Web Designer Eva Bailey Associates Catherine Kamara Cobie Lunsford Emmanuel Hayble Subscriptions (904) 265-0765 www.entrepreneursanchor.com 1884 Dean Road Jacksonville, FL 32216 (904) 265-0765 ©Entrepreneurs Anchor Magazine may not be produced without written consent. Disclaimer: Entrepreneur’s Anchor Magazine is intended to provide general information about business topics, but does not provide legal business advice. The views and opinions presented on all articles and advertisements are solely those of the authors, and do not represent those of the company. Therefore, PowerHouse Anchor Management, and the management of Entrepreneurs Anchor will not accept any liability in respect to any incorrect, incomplete, or unacceptable statement on the magazine.

If your business has not taken a big hit from the economic crisis, you may know of few businesses around that have sunk deeper in the “economic titanic.” In these difficult economic times, business owners are being challenged as never before. News of business failures and failed empires has left many businesses in a state of flux. This should not be the case. Failing to have a strategic plan or poor strategic planning has led many businesses scrambling for short-term funds to meet payroll or short term business obligation. Businesses that have left their business plan on the shelf are now reaching for their plan and reappraising their business process. Right on top of the agenda of executive and management meeting is the subject of pruning excessive costs and other sources of short term funds to keep the company afloat. With businesses all over the globe tightening their belt and embarking on pruning, the focus has been shifted from the organization’s mission. The strategy has gone from strategic thinking to survival strategy; hence, exposing the organization to huge risk. History and lessons from successful organizations around the world point to the importance of ensuring that the organization’s mission and goals are not abandoned just to make sure that the organization survives another week. While on the boiling point, drastic decisions are made, be it letting go of your most highly paid staff, or eliminating a business segment. Business owners or executives must also remember that these decisions should be preceded by business process appraisal to ensure that the organization is still on the right map. Despite the flux and rambling seen from many organizations, We have seen positive moves from many business managers and executives who have identified opportunities in crisis. Many organizations are reengineering their business process and increasing market share as weak players exit the market scene. At PowerHouse, we identified opportunities in the present economic crisis. We see a need to equip business owners and business managers with the tools needed to make effective decisions. Through constant interaction with our clients, discussions with business owners, and analysis of the present market situation. We saw a need to address the concerns and unveil the myths behind the poor performance of many businesses through an informational tool – “Entrepreneurs Anchor.” As we face the challenges of resource allocation, we saw a need to fill the gap left by the “economic titanic” that has left so many business owners devastated. To ensure a wider reach, this magazine is also offered online at www.entrepreneursanchor.com. We are poised and ready to bring the right information to your business door step to help your organization make effective decisions.

Ethelbert Nwanegbo Publisher/Editor in Chief




Strategic Planning Getting Your Organization Focused and Directed Strategic planning is the cornerstone of every successful business venture. The word “strategy” is synonymous with military action plan of attack. It is an essential process in preparing to carry out an organization’s mission--where your organization expects to be in five, ten, or fifteen years, and how your organization will get there. An effective strategic planning process provides a map or framework which ensures the actualization of an organization’s mission. The strategic planning framework should detail all the steps and decisions around the organization’s resource allocation. It should also detail the action plan for the implementation of the organization’s mission statement. More so, strategic planning framework should include the timing for the execution of the strategic plans, who should be involved, and the organization of the people and resources for effective implementation. Effective strategic planning process begins and ends with the development of an effective mission statement. Strategic Planning and Your Mission Statement Why mission statement? What role does an organization’s mission statement play in strategic planning? The mission statement describes your company’s future goals and actions. The development and deployment of sound and effective mission statement are the keys to effective strategic planning. These goals and actions answer the following questions: why your company does what it does; your company’s reason for being, and its purpose. Creating or changing your company’s mission statement involves: a conscious look at your company’s future in terms of service offering, quality, market share, and future growth. There are three important components of strategic planning: information gathering, idea aggregation, and brainstorming of why the company exists, what the company wants to be known for, and its purpose. A mission statement should not be a slogan. Good mission statements are plain speech that is clear, concise, and rid of jargons. Strategic Plan as a Management Tool Effective Strategic plan is used as a tool to direct and coordinate the execution of your company’s short and long range plans. It also helps business managers identify external and internal challenges and opportunities during the plan period. It acts as a guide towards effective and efficient deployment of the organization’s resources. It also focuses the business managers on what needs to be achieved over the next years, resources needed to achieve them, and how to go about achieving it. An effective and productive strategic plan is a powerful tool used to keep a company or business organization focused on its mission. There are three main stages of strategic planning: plan 

by Ethelbert Nwanegbo development, plan execution, and plan review. Many large and small organizations are faced with two basic problems: improper execution of effective strategic plan and ineffective strategic plan. These two problems are the destructive agents that impact an organization’s future development and growth. The first problem creates huge disincentives, thus, the benefits of doing strategic planning are almost always lost. Why? The problem is not in the development of the strategic plan, but the deployment of effective forces towards the implementation of the plan. The strategic plan became a mere academic exercise, racked up in the business manager’s shelf and never used or implemented even by the people that drafted it. A poorly designed strategic plan is as harmful as a poorly executed strategic plan; which could lead to poor allocation of your company’s resources, lack of focus, exposure to organizational risk, and lead to waste of your organization’s resources. The goal of strategic planning lies not in the creation of the plan, but in the implementation of the plan. Implementing the plan can only work if you are clear about what the plan can bring to your organization. If your organization is in the early stages of business formation, an effective strategic planning session can assist the business managers in selecting an area in which to initially focus organizational resources and attention. A strategic planning process should not be developed when your organization is in the middle of a crisis or in the process of implementing key business decisions, or changing key board members or staff. If your organization’s leadership is focused on resolving a short-term crisis, they will not direct adequate attention and resources toward the strategic planning process; hence, leading to poor and improperly developed plan. Complete acceptance or buy-in of all the business executives is essential for the successful implementation of the plan. It is also necessary to ensure that the plan is effectively communicated as every member of the organization is an instrument in the effective implementation of the strategic plan. An organization should not embark on strategic planning, if its executives or business managers are in the middle of a transition. New managers may kick back or not embrace a plan reflecting the philosophies and priorities of the previous business managers. Long or Short-Range Strategic Planning You’ll also find literatures that suggest that strategic planning is doomed to fail, because long term planning is “impossible” in a rapidly changing business world that is built on shifting sands. What use can we make of the strategic plan for it to have value, not only to the company, but also to each and every employee, since that’s the only way the plan’s cost can be


justified? It needs to be used by everyone. A strategic plan needs to be useful as a guide to decision-making, from the top of the organization to the bottom. The CEO should be able to use it to decide on business direction, mergers, and staffing. Managers should be able to use it to decide the priorities of their work units’ goals and objectives, and to align the work of their units with the overall goals of the larger organization. And, each employee should be able to use the plan (or at least parts of it) to understand his/ her own goals, and where he/she fits in the bigger scheme of things. In other words, the plan tells everyone what is important, what is not, and why they do what they do. This applies to those at the top of the hierarchy, and those at the bottom. When properly implemented, a strategic plan helps to add meaning to each person’s work, to focus each person’s work, and to align each person’s work. If the strategic plan is not used to achieve these objectives, the effort put into the process is almost certainly wasted. The Basic Steps of Strategic Planning • Prepare to plan. • Define and review organizational vision, mission, activities and values. • Do environmental scan or SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. • Identify strategic issues. • Develop strategic goals and objectives. • Create and implement plans to achieve goals and carry out objectives. • Monitor and evaluate periodically and adjust if necessary. • Identifying new futures and new venture opportunities. • Auditing threats, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses. • Brainstorming, evaluating, and selecting strategies to empower leaders. • Critiquing and reviewing the plan.

zation-wide strategic plan. At that bottom level -- the employee level -- the cascading process is linked to the development of specific goals and objectives that each employee has for the upcoming period of time. So, by the end of the cascading process, everyone’s goals and objectives should be aligned with the goals and objectives of the employee’s business unit. The divisions’ mini strategic plans should also be part of the organization’s strategic plan. Strategic Plan- Your Road Map Developing an effective strategic plan can be very time consuming; however, the benefits outweighs the cost and time invested in the process. Strategic plan is your organization’s road map; it guides and directs your organization towards reaching its goals, vision, and mission. Strategic planning enables your organization to answer the following questions: • Who are we? • What capacity do we have/what can we do? • What problems are we addressing? • What difference do we want to make? • Which critical issues must we respond to? • Where should we allocate our resources?/ what should our priorities be? Without extra commitment, all that’s been created is a document that goes in the drawers and ends up forgotten. Simply put, strategic planning is a waste of effort and time unless the organization makes the plan relevant, useful, and understood by all members of the organization.

After Strategic Planning, What next? Cascading Cascading is used to describe the process of taking your strategic plan, and “driving it down” into the organization, so that it can be used to make decisions, add meaning to the work of employees, and ensure the actualization of your organization’s mission. Cascading commences after the plan is complete, and it can be used regardless of who formulated the plan. And, it makes the difference between a dead plan that gathers dust, and one that returns value described above. Cascading works regardless of the size of your organization- two people, two hundred people or 20,000 people working in it. The driving force is the same. It involves full participation of every member of the organization. It begins with the communication of the strategic plan and sometimes involves the creation of mini strategic plan using the organization-wide strategic plan. The mini/ divisional strategic plan is developed to achieve the organi


beaver street enterprise center Jacksonville’s only full service business incubator

2011 rendering of the Beaver Street Enterprise Center II Top photo: Huxtable Education Group l Bottom photo: A. Harold and Associates




Who wouldn’t give their right arm to be

generating a million plus -in revenues and adding employees, especially in today’s turbulent times? A dream come true? Yet that’s the dream being lived and realized by three high potential growth companies who recently graduated the incubator in 2009. Huxtable Education Group, Universal Understanding and A. Harold and Associates collectively generated revenues over $9.5 million, and added over 100 employees to their payrolls. After transitioning from the Beaver Street Enterprise Center, Jacksonville’s only full service business incubator, revenues continued to climb with two of the companies obtaining contracts totaling 50 million. Florida’s strengths include its absence of state income tax, relatively low unemployment insurance taxes, openness in trade, friendliness to small business and entrepreneurs, and a growing trend toward business incubation – a strategy for the acceleration and growth of small businesses. Voted one of Florida’s most innovative for Florida’s future, Beaver Street Enterprise Center is one of the strategic assets that aid Jacksonville in leading Florida cities in the creation of a competitive business climate and in the stimulation of free market capitalism.

Business incubators like the Beaver Street Enterprise Center focus on encouraging the development of a diverse number of start-ups that can become a local base of thriving service, manufacturing, baking, retail and other types of commercial enterprises. Since it’s inception it has graduated over eight companies and supports an average of 18-20 companies each year. The typical tenure for a company is three years, during which the company receives exposure to potential customers, high level networking, business development workshops and seminars, mentoring, access to capital and a host of referral networks suitable for their specific stage of business. The Enterprise Center began nearly seven years ago as a FreshMinistries initiative to nurture and grow small businesses in the urban core. It has since become one of our nations most widely recognized and flourishing business incubators. Now, in line with the FreshMinistries vision of hope and change, Beaver Street is expanding – in fact, it is slated to become a national model for green growth! “This is a great opportunity to take an old vacant warehouse in our urban core and not only renovate and

rehabilitate it, but take a visible lead in our ongoing commitment to sustainability,” said the Reverend Doctor Bruce R. Grob, Vice Chairman of FreshMinistries. In the Spring of 2010 Beaver Street Enterprise Center will be expanding it’s services to existing companies who have the potential to reach stage two or stage three of business growth. These companies will have moved past the early stage, survival period and will have moved their products or services from a pilot stage into a sizeable production level with established markets. High-growth, innovative companies, “green” industries, health-care and hospitality industries are targets for the new incubator. With the new expansion, Beaver Street Enterprise Center will continue to stimulate the economy, create jobs and do both in the most cost-effective manner with the greatest return. We’ll continue to make dreams come true for innovative entrepreneurs and will help make Jacksonville and Florida one of the top ranking cities and states for economic success. For more information about the Beaver Street Enterprise Center, contact Jackie Perry at (904) 265-4700. 


Plug Into the Power of Prevention Success Story l Chris Fey An exciting, energetic force field emanates from CEO Chris Fey as he travels the globe extolling the benefits of his company, U.S. Preventive Medicine. A man on a mission to change the way the world approaches healthcare, Fey declares that he is moving at “light speed” to bring about a paradigm shift that will put prevention in the forefront, transforming the practice of medicine from reactive to proactive. “It’s time to step up and do what the experts tell us over and over again is the only way to truly fix the system,” reasons Fey, whose common sense approach cuts through the debris of today’s heated debates on the future of healthcare. “By providing cost-effective preventive measures that will allow every single one of our nation’s 300 million citizens to reward themselves with better health at a cost of just a few $100 annually per person, U.S. Preventive Medicine is taking huge strides towards fixing the system,” Fey states. “Our Prevention Plan’s combination of integrated prevention, early disease detection and chronic condition management could save the United States $1 trillion annually in total healthcare costs (including improved outcomes and improved productivity), and, most important, it will allow people to enjoy more good years!” The company mantra … “more good years” … stems both from Fey’s childhood and from recent experiences that have dramatically touched his life. “We all deserve more good years,”says the dynamic CEO, whose father died young, leaving his two sons to be raised by a loving, hard-working mother. Fey credits his mother for instilling in 10

him an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to excel in every endeavor. “By second grade, my brother and I were out selling duck eggs in the neighborhood. We sold flower seeds door to door and mowed lawns – anything to bring in extra money to help our widowed mother. I developed a very strong work ethic at a very young age, and it has held me in good stead throughout my 57 years.” Possibly, as a deterrent to following the example of his father’s early demise, Christopher Fey has devoted his long career to improving health care, first as a consultant developing managed care plans and later as the founder of Healthcare USA, an HMO company that he eventually sold to Coventry, a public company. In the 1990’s, Fey was a senior officer at Coventry, enjoying the benefits of success and feeling “on top of the world” when disaster struck very close to home. “My 39 year old brother-in-law was standing right next to me on my boat when he had a massive stroke,” recalls Fey. “One minute we were enjoying a beautiful family day on the Intracoastal Waterway and the next minute he was fighting for his life.” It was a major wake-up call for Fey. Although, it was touch and go for a while, his brother-in-law survived the stroke, but he will be negatively affected by it for the rest of his life. “On reflection, my brother-inlaw had several clear warning signs, including chronic headaches, leading up to the stroke,” said Fey. “But he and his family were visiting us from Dallas for the Christmas holidays and he was planning to get a check-up when he got home. Instead, he ended up at Baptist, then

Shands and eventually Baylor Hospital for months of rehabilitation.” It was that dramatic eye opener that put Fey on the straight and narrow path toward preventive healthcare. “This could happen to me!” he thought, and when he began a series of checkups into his own health, he discovered that no one in the medical field was devoted to making sure he got all the right tests at the right times – and certainly not at the right prices. “It took quite a while for me to get completely checked,” said Fey. “That’s when I realized that I needed a project manager for my health, and … EUREKA! … so did everybody else! That’s when the concept for U.S. Preventive Medicine was born.” According to Fey, formulating and refining your big idea is the biggest challenge. “If you want to create a real value, find a really big problem and then find a solution,” he says. “Warren Buffet says that good ideas attract capital.” Fey is convinced that winning in business or in life requires the five characteristics described in George Plimpton’s book, The X Factor. “The key commonalities that separate winners from the losers are: 1) Focus (like a laser beam); 2) Unselfishness (willingness to share the glory); 3) Intelligence (smart ideas); 4) Toughness (not a pushover); and 5) Tenacity (determination … never give up). “It has often been said that the person who walked away was just one day from success,” notes Fey. “They left a day early.” It took four years for Fey to move his big idea from concept to reality. First, he had to incorporate his years of experience with a great deal of research and development involving marketplace and medical


-sible business model that promoted preventive healthcare as an affordable solution. “I then gathered a group of about a dozen executives involved in all facets of healthcare (the majority of whom have worked with me before in other companies) and, we’ve backed this team with enough private capital to get the job done right.” Another factor that has guaranteed a successful rollout of the Prevention Plan was Fey’s determination to recruit the best of the best from the very beginning in his quest for success. “We brought on a top accountant, a top law firm and a top advertising firm,” he says. “If we want to be a world class company,

we must recruit the best.” And, during the past year, U.S. Preventive Medicine’s Prevention Plan has been on the fast track to be the best healthcare benefit available anywhere. As the company rolled out its impressive suite of prevention, early detection and chronic condition management products and services, Fey notes that approximately 30,000 members in 46 states have come on board, with more than 100,000 predicted by 2010. “We will roll out the Prevention Plan in London during the first quarter of 2010,” said Fey, adding that healthcare experts are predicting a “mass migration of people to preventive medicine” during the next

few years. One of the statistics that will drive this mass migration to prevention is the fact that 75% to 80% of the conditions that Americans spend their money on are preventable (diabetes, heart disease, asthma, lung cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – COPD, etc.) and people are beginning to recognize that. “We have created a prevention plan for the right time at the right place at the right price,” said Fey. “It’s a benefit that will result in people around the globe enjoying longer, healthier lives. And, as I’ve said all along, we all deserve More Good Years!

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Branding made Personal by Felicia Wright

What is personal branding? Personal branding is the process of creating a professional or personal identity that is unique and consistent with who you are. What do Oprah, Michael Jordan, and Donald Trump all have in common? Not only have they succeeded in branding what they do, but they’ve also successfully branded themselves. As a professional it is very important to establish a brand for your company. It is equally, if not more important, to establish a personal brand. Think of your personal brand as your reputation. What do you want to be known for? It is vital to understand who you are as a business owner or company representative, and how it impacts your company. Branding yourself creates leverage in marketing both you and your business. Let’s assess three areas for establishing your personal brand: the look, the message and the experience. Before anyone has the chance to really know you, they see you. They observe how you are dressed, then examine how you present yourself, and based on these observations they form perceptions of you. Think about someone you’ve recently met at a networking event. If the person dressed professionally, spoke eloquently, and had a positive and encouraging attitude, you may have thought to yourself, “Wow this person really has it together... I want to do business with them!” But, if that person was inappropriately dressed and had a negative attitude, would you feel the same way? Not only does your attire make a statement, but also your demeanor. Simply “dressing” the part doesn’t mean much if you lack confidence, and have a negative presence. Effective communication is very important in any situation. Ask yourself, “Are you are sincerely trying to help your client, or just trying to make a sale?” You should always tailor your words and tone to fit the audience you are addressing. You may not be able to control a person’s comments, but you can control your reactions to them. Speak professionally, but practically. Having a clear, consistent message builds your credibility with the audience, and adds value to your brand. Always be open and honest whenever you are communicating with your employees, clients, or vendors. After all, these strategic alliances will endorse your brand, and greatly enhance how it is perceived. Finally, continuing your message throughout your marketing collateral, website, and social networking will help solidify your brand.

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Now that you have established your look and defined your message, let’s experience your brand. After someone sees you and has spoken with you, what impression do they have of you? Does their perception of you, mirror the image you want to portray? First impressions are important, but when establishing your brand, consistency is key. Have you ever went to a restaurant or store and had a great first experience, but the next time it wasn’t the same? Have you been back? Providing a comfortable, consistent experience for your clients is critical. They expect and look forward to that same experience every time. Although business situations can be unpredictable, the important thing to remember is, whenever you take responsibility and demonstrate accountability for mistakes or problems, you will be respected and appreciated. Incorporating these basic tips will help you establish the look, the message and the experience. Establishing a company’s brand creates credibility & leverage. Establishing a personal brand does the same, but the difference is your personal brand stays with you. It is the essence of who you are and how you connect with others. Keep in mind that as you are creating your brand, it is up to you to determine what’s professional or appropriate for you. Different situations, require different approaches. If you have to ask yourself - Is this appropriate?, Is this right for me?, chances are, it’s not. Whenever possible, prior to meeting with a company, research them to determine their workplace culture. Being able to work effectively with others not only affects the dynamics of the work environment, but can be perceived as a reflection of who you are. Ask 10 close colleagues to describe your brand in 10 words or less. You do the same, compare them, and then assess whether or not you need to make changes. One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou is, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” During these economically challenging times, competition is high. Create leverage by utilizing your greatest asset, you!


tips entrepreneural

Small Business Marketing – Branding

Creating Logos - When it comes to marketing and brand recall, a unique logo works best. By making your logo, which is the main theme of your marketing and advertising materials, the image should be associated with your business. A well-recognized logo is often the best branding strategy entrepreneurs can devise. Logos are very important aspect of any business success. Think about some of the most recognized logos, such as Nike, McDonalds, Google, etc. There is a good chance that 99% percent of an average person would recognize these logos and know what the organization does, including children. These logos are all designed to be simple and easy to remember. Your small business should follow such model to allow your logo to do what it is designed to do—introduce your product to the market and attract easy remembrance of your product functions.Think up a Slogan - Apart from having a recognizable logo, a catchy slogan is the next best way to familiarize and popularize your product. An effective slogan is just a few words that describe exactly what your business is all about. You want your customer to think of your brand and your product every time they hear those words. In fact, just hearing the slogans in some people’s mind reminds them of some important phrases, such as: • • • • • • • • • • •

Always Low Prices! (Wal-Mart) Just do it! (NIKE) I’m loving it! (McDonald’s) So easy a caveman can do it! (Geico) Your world. “Delivered”! (AT &T) Get more out of now! (Dell Computer) Live Richly! (City Group) Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!(State Farm) It’s all inside (J C Penney) Making great things possible! (Globe Telecom) Watch yourself change! (Weight Watchers)

As you may observe, the above slogans are easily recognizable and attributable to the firm. Good and recognizable facts about slogans are that they can be changed based on the surroundings, target markets, and new products. McDonald’s has changed its slogan numerous times over the years. Focus on the Services – Creating specific identity is very essential in branding a product. Differentiating your product from other products of similar functions means separating interest in people’s mind to focus your specific product. Such separation or specific identification of your product sends a message that you are offering what nobody provides. Whether your business is meant for your locality or as a worldwide brand, it is important to create an identity for it. Let the potential customers be aware of what you have to offer them, and why your company is better than your competitors. For branding to be successful, it takes lots of patience, money, and effort. This will eventually lead to favorable returns and rewards to your business. 13


sky The

is the limit! Success Story l Andy Harold

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Winning the SBA’s 2009 District, State and Regional Entrepreneurial Success Award was a natural for Andrew E. Harold, Jr., founder and President of A. Harold & Associates, LLC. For this former Navy Helicopter Pilot, who serves as a U.S. Naval Reservist assigned to the Pentagon, the sky truly is the limit when it comes to achieving success. A highly principled patriot and dedicated family man, Andy Harold has a penchant for inspiring trust and confidence in his abilities and attracting the highest caliber of employees to fulfill his company’s lofty goals. From the start of AHA in 2003, Harold and his company have steadily risen in the ranks of Jacksonville’s veteran-owned, technology, education, engineering and training services firms. Earning an SBA 8(a) Certification early on, AHA immediately set about winning large contracts from the U.S Marine Corps, Jacksonville Airport Authority, Army Research Institute, and Naval Surface Warfare Center. Within the last year and a half, A. Harold and Associates, LLC has also been able to amass contracting efforts involving a multi-year project to support the Everglades Restoration and the Army Corps of Engineers; a $5 million dollar contract to assemble electrical kit components for the HUMVEE Egress Assistance Trainer(HEAT); a contract to develop and instruct beta-training capabilities CBT and engineering documentation for the H-60 Common Distributed Mission Training Station (C-DMTS), and much more. “We have now expanded to nine states and have 45 full-time employees,” said Harold, stressing the “we” in his description of the incredible growth experienced by his company. “It has definitely been a team effort all the way,” he said. “No one can get there without a whole lot of support,

and that is one of the reasons I chose to launch my fledgling company at Beaver Street Enterprise Center, Florida’s only core-city business incubator.” In April of 2009, AHA “graduated” from their large suite at Beaver Street Enterprise Center and moved into a 5,000 square foot facility off of St. Johns Bluff Road on Jacksonville’s Southside. “Beaver Street has helped provide us the stability to grow and graduate,” said Harold. “Being located at Beaver Street, which is the primary hub for small business resources and development, was the smartest move we could have made. The staff there has been our number one cheerleader; we’ve had a top board of directors ready and willing to help with business and financial information and support. If you’re a small, medium or even large business, Beaver Street is the only focal point in town where you can get everything you need to grow and graduate.” Currently, in addition to AHA’s multiple government contracts, there are pending contract awards in the works to provide Firefighting Instructors at the Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor, P-3 Fleet Repalcement Squadron/ Weapons School course revision and maintenance, HEAT/MRAP acquisition and logistics, and provide Naval Air Systems Command (PMA 273) Training Systems Program Management/Support. In addition to achieving a plethora of local recognition for his entrepreneurial energy and expertise, Andy Harold’s young, successful company, A. Harold & Associates LLC, was featured nationally last year in the Business Journal’s Beginners to Big Shots Section. “Andy Harold and his company are prime examples of the entrepreneurial spirit that built this country,” said Beaver Street Enterprise Exective Director, Jackie Perry. “His company’s success is something we can all aspire to achieve.”

2009 MEDWeek Musings & Entrepreneurial Insights from Andy Harold Minority businesses will energize the economic recovery, and here’s how: 3 In 2009, our access to information is unprecedented. 3 The internet has streamlined how we do business. 3 Educational opportunities have never been more accessible or affordable. 3 Our resource partners and support agencies are more numerous than ever – they are in overdrive to help entrepreneurs succeed. 3 Now is the time for start-up and existing businesses to be flexible – what was the norm may no longer be the norm – it’s time to think out of the box! 3 One way to rethink your opportunities is to diversify and look for ways to expand your core business to fit the needs of today. 3 It is important to continually nurture and grow team and network partners – no one business can do it all! 3 Your name does not always have to be in lights. Be willing to be a subcontractor: Example: AHA won a subcontract that took 12 months to bid and negotiate with the government – that approach landed us a 10% stake in a 33 million dollar contract – had we not joined the team or sought the business relationship, we would not be in the position to receive a approximately 660K each year for the next 5 years! 3 Finally, research, research, research! Find out what is needed and how you can supply that need. Realize that you may not know everything, but you can research and figure it out and go from there. 3 Success is within reach for those who seek it. The saying at AHA is that no one can out-hustle A. Harold! So, go out and hustle, and don’t forget … the sky is the limit! 15


tips entrepreneural

Not-For-Profit Operations

Not-for-profit organizations are generally known to provide various socially and valuable service in a financially sound manner. This does not mean that such entities do not face uncertainties of different kinds, such as diminished revenue, competition, regulations, economic changes, and excessive expense planning. With the listed uncertainties, not-for-profit should not neglect to take advantage of applying important market analysis such as the Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats (SWOT) analysis, as well as effective market planning. SWOT Analysis – During an economic recession a SWOT analysis is a great way to manage decisions in a not-for-profit entity. Find the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of your organization. Use the strengths and opportunities to your advantage, and find a way to improve the weaknesses and prevent the threats. Look at possible competitors, market strategy, and necessary keys to success, marketing objectives, revisiting your target market, and reviewing your revenue and expense forecasts. Marketing Plan - With less money being available during an economic downturn, it is important that your marketing plan is focused on achieving the key objectives of your organization. In other words, maximize the value of the little money that you will be donated to your organization. Make certain that you: • Analyze fundraisers and focus on those that have a high margin and bring in the cash quickly. • Recognize the gifts of large or regular donors. • Try to help them to gain recognition or benefit from their donations to your organization so they will be able to continue donating. • Use an appropriate strategy to focus on donors. • Make sure you frequently recognize and keep in contact with your high-value and regular donors, as well as knowing how their donations contribute to your work. • Contact small and infrequent donors to deliver a message of appreciation, and continuously encourage them to contribute more.

16


Is your Wifi network

providing an open door into your company’s network? by Bryan Smith

Wifi networks have become more commonplace with the advent of consumer grade routers and combination DSL router/ access points used by most residencies and businesses. Wireless access points can be obtained for little or nothing at your local electronics store, but the security risk is far greater than perceived. Studies have shown that approximately 80 percent of wireless networks are unsecured (open), meaning they are not using any security at all. This is dangerous and can lead to malicious use of your network resources, internet and leave you in jeopardy with the law. Open networks are often used to download pirated software and or illegal media. Such usage can have criminal implications for the connection subscriber, though they are oblivious to such activities. Secure your network now to keep your sensitive data out of the hands of cyber criminals. Most wireless access points have security protocols built in by default. These protocols are listed below in order of weakest to strongest. • 64 bit WEP & 128 bit WEP • WPA & WPA2 • LEAP-EAP and RADIUS. All of these protocols have vulnerabilities inherent in their design. Although LEAP-EAP and RADIUS are by far the highest grade, and should be used in commercial environments where security is tantamount. The lesser protocols are easily cracked, depending on the strength of the access points password. WEP security was the first protocol to be used in consumer grade devices. Very few wireless routers ship with WEP enabled by default, because it is a big security risk. I have cracked 64 bit WEP in less than 20 seconds. WEP encryption has two flavors, 64

bit WEP and 128 bit WEP. The only difference from a security stand point is that 128 bit WEP takes slightly longer to crack. How can you secure your WEP enabled network? You can’t! Stop using WEP and/or buy a new access point, if your current hardware does not support the stronger security protocols. You should also replace wireless network cards that only support WEP encryption. The cost of upgrade is far less than the cost of allowing your network to be compromised. The WPA & WPA2 protocols are far more secure than their WEP predecessors, but they also have vulnerabilities built into the system. WPA cannot be cracked in the same manner as WEP, so it’s far more robust than WEP. The weakness in WPA & WPA2 lies in the Pre Shared Key or PSK. This key is known to many as “the wifi password.” The key can be from 8 to 63 characters long, but most choose an 8 to 12 character PSK. WPA is cracked by using a dictionary attack, which uses common words and phrases to attempt to crack the password of the access point. You are subject to this vulnerability if your password is found in any dictionary. Crackers use a file filled with common words (a dictionary), and automated programs to launch attempts against your access points security. This type of hack takes a considerable amount of time depending on the speed of the computer used to crack the network, and the complexity of the password of your access point. Choosing a password that has numbers, upper and lower case letters and special characters such as %,#,$,*,& , etc will be almost impossible to crack with the dictionary crack method. You can also create a secure password by using a long fictitious name between 10 and 20 characters long. Some access points have WPA &

WPA2 Enterprise level security, which requires systems that are similar to LEAP-EAP and RADIUS level security. This is a very robust security protocol, which adds additional layers of encryption and security. I will only briefly discuss LEAP/ EAP and RADIUS, because an indepth overview is beyond the scope of this article. LEAP/EAP and RADIUS authentication provide a layer of security which trumps the former methods. LEAP/EAP is a method of authentication, and RADIUS actually stores client data and connection information. In conjunction, these two allow a secure method to connect to a network and a layer which provides access to resources within that network. LEAP/ EAP also has security flaws which center on users choosing weak passwords. LEAP/EAP and RADIUS are far from a panacea when it comes to network security. Proper configuration of these and similar schemes can lead to a near ironclad security scheme for your network. Purchasing a consumer grade access point for secured business and SOHO networks is fine, as long as you educate yourself, research and utilize the proper security protocols. Businesses that store sensitive client data should always schedule routine security checks and have security principles outlined. If you are ever in doubt; hire a professional to install or audit your network security, to ensure that your data and network resources remain out of the hands of cyber criminals. *Do not attempt to penetrate or crack a wireless network that you don’t have permission to access. Accessing networks that you don’t own is unethical and illegal. Our tests were done in a lab environment using access points that we had permission to test.* 17


tips entrepreneural

Small Business Banking – Accounting

Choosing a Bank – People have various reasons for choosing a bank for their businesses personal banking needs. Some people seek convenience and close vicinity that may be lacking at some banks, and would select close proximity over other options. Most of the large banks have several locations that bring them closer to their customers for convenience. Other people prefer a smaller and more personal approach to banking. Therefore, they tend to have their accounts at a community bank and credit unions. If you, as a small business owner, and need nothing more than just a checking account, recommendation is that you can bank anywhere--large, small, community, or credit unions. On the other hand, if you need a broader relationship that involves various banking service products, you should then find a banker that will provide you the type of services you need. These may include, and not limited to term loan, line of credit, and real estate loan, investment advice, etc. The essence is finding who will work with you to determine the best financing structure for your business.

Choosing Accounting Software - The most common mistake is purchasing accounting software without taking the time to evaluate the needs of your business. For example, there are several accounting software in the market, such as: • Intuit QuickBooks Accounting Software. • Simply Accounting Entrepreneur • MYOB Premier Accounting Software • Peachtree Complete Accounting Software • NolaPro Accounting Software • GnuCash Free Accounting Software • Billing Manager Free Invoicing Software • NetSuite Accounting Software Depending upon your choice of accounting software, you must look for the one that will serve your business purpose. The most popular accounting software out there is the Intuit QuickBooks. You should look for the software that is userfriendly and easy to setup. Also, you should be aware that some of the accounting software lacks good inventory functions, and would not be good for a retail company. Again, evaluate what your business needs in accounting software and then do the research to find the best software for your needs. Hiring an Accountant – Engage an accountant as soon as you can afford one. An accountant is a valuable asset to a small business, offering experience and helping entrepreneurs on various business issues, not only on accounting functions. Accountants do more than reconcile the checkbook. A good accountant will help a client’s business grow through financial advice and business strategies. 18


WORKING CAPITAL MANAGEMENT A “No” Compromise Situation by Dr. Francis Ikeokwu, Sr.

The working capital is a tool that needs attention if any entrepreneur wants to succeed in business. There must be no compromises, in terms of managing the working capital. In order to be effective in managing the working capital, one needs to understand the basic definitions and characteristics of current assets and current liabilities. Working capital is simply the difference between your current assets and current liabilities. The goal of working capital management concept helps to insure that firms have sufficient cash flow to satisfy upcoming operational expenses, as well as efficiently maturing short-term and longterm debts. In fact, working capital is the cash required to carry on the operation during the cash conversion, which simply concerns the movements of the current assets and current liabilities. Components of Working Capital In any business, we expect the cash inflow and outflow to be constant. Cash flows in a cyclical manner, and with the hope of generating surplus money. This is called the operating cycle. The most important component of working capital is the function of the operating cycle of the company. In fact, working capital is one of the most difficult financial concepts entrepreneurs strive to familiarize themselves, as they struggle to effectively manage their small business, based on the “operating cycle”. Managing the working capital is simply applying investment and financing decisions to current assets. In a nutshell, working capital is the excess of

current assets over current liabilities. The categories of current assets and current liabilities include: Current Assets Current assets are resources of the company (what the firm owns) that can be converted into cash within one year. The current assets are the most important liquid resources of a business, which often is the life blood of the company. These are highly liquid assets of the company. Examples of current assets are: • Cash • Accounts receivables • Interest receivables • Short-term note receivables • Short-term investments • Inventory Current Liabilities Current liabilities are the financial obligation of the firm that can be paid off within one year. Effective management of the current liabilities is very essential in order to control the movement of time and money. Examples of current liabilities are: • Accounts payable • Interest payable • Wage payable • Rent payable • Short-term note payable Entrepreneurs should be very vigilant not to entangle into the problems arising from improper management of current assets, current liability and the inter relationship that exists between them. Managing working capital entails paying close attention to the financial ratios and the result of the trend analysis. As mentioned earlier, successfully

companies tend to pay close attention to the operating cycle. The operating cycle can help to analyze the accounts receivable, inventory, and accounts payable, based on the utilization of the financial ratios as a measurement tool. For instance, a close look of the operating cycle may lead to evaluating the inventory, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. Liquidity is the key factor in working management. The company must have the ability to convert assets into cash or to obtain cash in a short period of time, mainly one years or the operating cycle of the business. Approach in Working Capital Management Entrepreneurs should always strive to increase their company’s value, no matter the size of the firm. Doing so entails paying attention to the management of working capital. The drive for effective working capital management strongly relies in the manner at which the entrepreneur maximizes the use of the company’s liquid resources, and attracts consistent inflow of cash due to proper deployment of inventory and collection of receivables. The concept that “time is money” should be brought alive in working capital management. Attracting consistent inflow of cash into the business cannot occur without planning. Planning for constant and easy flow of money is very essential. The entrepreneur’s concern should focus on:

19


• Timely collection of funds from debtors. • Aggressive pursuit of late payment.

• Ascertaining that too much cash in not left idle. • Paying attention to how inventory items are converted to sales. • Minimizing the amount of money spent on bank interests. • Obtaining good and long credit terms from suppliers.

• Delaying payment of liabilities until maturity. Financial Ratios and Working Capital Computing and understanding certain financial ratios are crucial in working capital management. The entrepreneur should endeavor to identify changes in trends on the movement of the firm’s working capital. In so doing, should be able to determine the reasons for the evaluation results. The ratio analysis is the most widely used financial evaluation techniques to help determine how well the firm is utilizing working capital components in its operation. This includes the analysis of relationships between two or more line items on the financial statement. The ratios may be expressed in percentage, times, or days. Determining the financial ratios to be used in working capital decision-making often focuses on the following four important financial ratio categories: • Liquidity ratios • Profitability ratios • Efficiency, activity or turnover ratios • Financial leverage ratios LIQUIDITY RATIOS The liquidity ratio measures a firm’s ability to meet its short-term financial obligations. It measures the ability to pay short-term debts. Liquidity ratios include, current ratio, acid-test ratio, Cash ratio. Current Ratio: This helps to determine if there are sufficient current assets to pay off current liabilities. It provides a good indication of the company’s liquidity. The ratio is computed as: Current assets/current liabilities. 20

Acid-test ratio: This ratio helps to determine the firm’s ability to repay current liabilities after what is usually the least liquid asset, such as inventory is subtracted from the rest of the current assets. The difference here is that the acid-test ratio does not include inventory and prepaid expenses in calculating the ratio. It tests for a better liquidity than the current ratio. The ratio is computed as: Current assets – inventory – prepaid expenses/current liabilities Cash Ratio: This ratio portrays a more conservative view of liquidity, especially when there is uncertainty of timely collection of accounts receivable and inventory. The ratio is computed as: Cash Equivalent + Marketable Securities/current liabilities. PROFITABILITY RATIOS The profitability ratios measure the overall effectiveness of the firm, such as determining the level of net income dollars generated by each dollar of sales. It measures management’s ability to control expenses and to earn a return on the resources invested into the business. The categories of profitability ratio include, Gross Profit Margin, Net Profit Margin, Operating Profit Margin, Return on Assets, and Return on Equity. Gross Profit Margin: This helps to indicate how effective is the firm at generating revenue in excess of its cost of goods sold. The ratio is computed as follows: Gross Profit/Net Sales. Net Profit Margin: This ratio helps to determine how much net profit is being generated from each dollar of sales. The ratio is computed as: Net Income/Net Sales. Operating Profit Margin: This ratio measures how effective and low the firm is keeping costs of production. The ratio is computed as: Operating Income/Net Sales. Return on Assets: The ratio measures the company’s ability to utilize company’s assets to create profits. How is the company generating net income from its assets? The ratio is computed as: Net Income/Total Assets. Return on Equity: This ratio measures the income earned on the shareholder’s investment. It helps to determine how well the firm is in gen-

erating return to its equity providers. The ratio is computed as: Net Income/ Equity. FINANCIAL LEVERAGE RATIOS The financial leverage ratios measure the extent of the company’s level of debt and it’s ability to pay off the debt. It helps to measure the firm’s ability to raise additional debt, as well as the ability to pay off it’s liabilities on time. The categories of the financial leverage ratios include, Debt Ratio, Debt-to-Equity ratio, Times Interest Earned Ratio, Long-term Debt to Net Working Capital, and Total Debt to Assets Ratio. Debt Ratio: This ratio helps to determine the portion of the firm’s assets that is financed with debt. What is the company’s ability to control reduction in asset and still minimize jeopardizing creditor’s interest? The ratio is computed as: Total Debt/Total Assets. Debt-to-Equity ratio: This ratio helps to determine how safe creditor’s are in terms of company’s insolvency. It answers the question about the proportion of debt relative to equity financing of the company. The ratio is computed as: Total Debt/Total Equity. Times Interest Earned Ratio: This ratio helps to determine the firm’s ability to repay interest payments from its operating income. Can the company meet its interest payments? The ratio is computed as: Operating Income or Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT)/Interest Expense. Long-term Debt to Net Working Capital: This ratio helps to determine the company’s ability to pay longterm debt obligations from current assets after paying off current liabilities. The ratio is computed as: Long-term Debt/Current Assets – Current Liabilities. Total Debt to Assets Ratio: This ratio helps to determine the company’s ability to survive reduction in assets due to losses without jeopardizing creditor’s interest. The ratio is computed as: Total Liabilities/Total Assets.


tips entrepreneural

Small Business Personal Finance

Get paid what you’re worth – Product costing is very important here to assure that you are paid adequately for your services when compared to others with similar experience and skills in your product or service area. Receiving less for your product and services than they are worth can create huge negative impact in your future revenue plan. Budget – Budgeting is an essential element in any business setting. So many people, especially entrepreneurs know the necessity of preparing a budget. Yet, it has become an obvious trend that most people neglect to do it. As entrepreneurs, you must not short-change yourself by failing to budget and plan for your financial future. How are you supposed to know where you can save money if you do not document where it is going? Whether it is done with a pen and paper, or budgeting software, maintaining a budget can make a huge difference. Keep a savings plan – It is recommended that entrepreneurs should deposit a reasonable amount of their money into checking accounts. Nevertheless, you have to make sure that you do not leave a huge amount of cash wasting in your savings accounts with low yielding interest. Savings also entails investing some portion of cash into short-term investments—making your money work for you.

SM

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99-1821_Payk_Ad_halfpg_horiz_119_v5.indd 1

Some trading and platform restrictions apply. Please speak with your ADP Retirement Services District Manager. Neither ADP, Inc. nor its affiliates provide investment advice or management services, or serve in a fiduciary capacity with respect to retirement plans.

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Source: “Value Proposition Study—March 2008” conducted by Chatham Partners. Based on conversion plans only.

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11/30/09 4:01 PM


Dee Thomas-Lockley, CMT, FAAMT President Dee Thomas-Lockley, CMT, FAAMT Dee President Thomas-Lockley, CMT, FAAMT CMT, Dee Thomas-Lockley, CMT, FAAMTDee Thomas-Lockley, President President President

FAAMT

branding

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Branding your image.

Get expert advice to your questions about branding & marketing. Each issue subscribers will have the opportunity to submit their questions and get advice from an expert. All names and contact information will remain confidential. Please submit your questions to fwright@mygani.com two weeks prior to upcoming issue. Thank you!

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23


“Character, Responsibility, Integrity” Success Story l Hezekiah Griggs III He is the namesake of the Biblical “Good King,” the hero Hezekiah, and, indeed, he is a modern-day royalty risen from poverty and homelessness. Hezekiah GriggsIII, a product of New Jersey’s hard-scrabble innercity, is a young man driven by energetic tenacity to lead and succeed in life, with character, responsibility and integrity. At age 20, Hezekiah Griggs III has already earned a lifetime of accolades for his far-reaching business enterprises and philanthropic endeavors. Chairman, President and CEO of HG3 Media, LLC, a multi-million dollar conglomerate of teen entertainment, interactive services and publishing, Griggs founded his first business at age 7. “I was videotaping my grandfather’s church sermon when a lady came up and asked how much I charged for a tape,” Griggs recalls. “I said $15. That was my first entrepreneurial moment relative to future success.” Soon, the 7-year old boy was selling 100-plus tapes every Sunday. “I stuffed the money into brown envelopes and put them under my bed,” says Griggs. “I had enough candy for the first time in my life, and I bought candy for all the kids in the neighborhood, too.” By the time he was nine years old, the poor inner-city boy from New Jersey had founded a full-fledged company called Griggs Cinematography, and was sharing much more than candy with other youth. The generous young businessman was on his way to becoming an internationally recognized philanthropist. Today, Griggs is revered as recipient of the Optimists International Youth Leadership Award and more 24

than 300 awards and honors from organizations such as Florida International University, AME Churches, NAACP and the Northern New Jersey Media Group. His business and philanthropic initiatives have been lauded by leading public figures such as former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). As to his motivation, Griggs notes: “It came naturally to me – simply recognizing the situation I was in and choosing to channel positive, reciprocal energy toward making things better. There were a lot of kids like me, with no father in the house and no direction – my mind always told me I had to do better and encourage others to do better, too.” Likening himself to a rose who grew out of concrete, Griggs is extremely serious about his responsibility as a role model for the youth. His “no excuse mentality” is all pervasive, and he is firmly convinced that everyone has the power within them to succeed. “I tell kids that nobody cares about what you don’t have or didn’t do or didn’t get – that ‘I can’t do it’ mentality is unacceptable.” Griggs demands of himself and others nothing less than excellence. “We all can do all we can in every minute we have,” he says, “and if we do that, we will succeed.” Always alert and ready to leap into another successful enterprise, Hezekiah Griggs, III has been called “America’s Youngest Media Mogul.” Through HG3 Media, with its 20 different corporate operations and 45 collective media properties, as well as The Hezekiah Griggs III Foundation, participation in Y.E.S. (Young Entrepreneur Society), and several other innovative means, Griggs reaches out

globally, leveraging his experience and success to help other young entrepreneurs and organizations serving youth. Having made his fortune very early, Griggs likes to call himself a “semi-retired executive” who now has the time and wherewithal to travel the globe empowering others. “I’m doing tours, introducing my youth programs and speaking in churches, high schools and middle schools to encourage students to reach for success and become leaders in society.” In fact, one of several motivational youth programs Griggs helps support is called LEAD (Leaders by Empowerment, Activists by Development). Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, LEAD, under the direction of Shevrin Jones, works directly with at risk youth, placing them in leadership positions and helping them grow in confidence and competence. “It’s an overarching mentality,” Griggs notes. “At the end of the day, my automatic thought process in starting a new business or youth program is ‘how will this benefit the community?” Hip Hop and Christianity and Hip Hop on Wall Street are two more of Griggs’s programs that promote communication and cooperation between today’s hip hop generation, the church and the marketplace. “I’ve defied all of the obstacles,” he says, “and my faith in God has grounded me. Without faith, all things are dead, but I don’t need to walk around with my Bible in order to get my point across.” And, as to comments on his young age, Griggs just grins. “I tell an older person who inquires about my young years - there’s a big difference between you and me


difference is how I think at my age.” Looking back at his entrepreneurial career so far, Griggs notes that there are several things he would have done differently, including some of his business decisions. “I probably should have started my magazines online,” he says, “but I believe in always looking forward, acknowledging and understanding that what is happening to you is happening for a reason – and that is to prepare you for the future.” As to his use of business consultants, Griggs says that he considers it very important to seek the advice

of experts. “We all have to use legal and accounting advice eventually,” he says. “I hire a lot of consultants for non-profit organizations that come in and work to help us develop stronger business programs and expedite services. I actually have more interns than consultants in my enterprises.” Through his HG3 Foundation, Griggs has established a Youth and Business Development Program that has a national forum of approximately 1200 students in high school and middle schools. “We are taking kids out of gangs and, instead, they are work-

ing on resolutions for social issues in their communities, raising money for AIDS prevention, writing legislation and passing bills, making budgets and talking with teachers,” said Griggs. “Working together, we are building a generation of givers and decision makers.” Hezekiah Griggs, III is helping the youth discover that they have the power within them to be successful, and helping them harness that power for good. It doesn’t get any better than that.

25


26


Management and Human Resources

tips

Effective Hiring – It is important to take your time when hiring. Your hiring requirements for the position must be clearly specified to reduce paperwork on unwanted candidates. Weed out the non-contenders by requiring a drug test and short essay on why they want the job. Importantly, conduct phone interviews with selected candidates, then schedule personal interviews with the final three.

Small Business Human Resources & Inventory Management

Help Employees Take Pride in Their Work – Establish high standards for every employee in the organization. Be sure that each employee knows specifically what is expected of them. Offer incentives for those who go above and beyond the expectations, and endeavor to promote from within to give hope to existing staff for growth in the organization.

entrepreneural

Inventory Management and the Retail Industry Keeping Good Records – The very best way to be cost efficient in inventory management is to keep good and accurate records. Keep track of average sales, maximum sales, minimum order quantity, shipment time, and quantity on hand of each item you carry. If these numbers are not carefully measured, you will never know the answers to three important questions, such as: • What to order? • When to order? • How many to order? Physical Inventory – Even though most companies use electronic inventory systems, it is important to do periodical physical inventory checks. Actually checking the inventory and counting every item will keep your numbers accurate and give you feedback regarding theft and product damage. Security – Losses from stolen products can really add up, if advanced security systems are not used. Security cameras should be installed and monitored at all times. Products should be delivered to safe locations, and staff should be trained to be able to spot shop lifters. Also, staff should be monitored to prevent fraud. FIFO – First in, First out is an absolute must for companies who sell perishable goods. Shelf stockers need to be trained to put newer items in the back so that customers will purchase the older products first.

27


Entreprenurer’s Financial Strength by Dr. Francis Ikeokwu, Sr.

Basic Financial Concepts Count In this era of economic uncertainty, entrepreneurs must not take financial planning for granted. Most often, several entrepreneurs concentrate their energy in strategically planning how to accumulate the capital to establish their business venture, or to keep their already established business afloat and towards growth. Less time is spent in planning to effectively manage the capital inflows and outflows of funds, and the assets of the company. These are all part of financial planning and budgeting concept of running a business. For any business to succeed, financial planning and budgeting must be part of the business plan right from the beginning. Entrepreneurs are experts in what they sell to consumers, whether tangible goods or professional services. But, same may not be mentioned about how they manage the funds in the business. Managing the movement of funds require a different set of skills, and must effectively be planned in order to steer the company out of unexpected loss or danger from financial dilemma. Financial planning as a tool Financial planning is a responsibility that is designed not only for business enterprises, but also for every individual, no matter their level of income, education, or age. Financial planning entails monitoring both business and personal financial activities, and designing a reliable strategy to accomplish short-term, medium-term, and long-term financial goals. As far as your business is concerned, financial planning is a continuous process, which is designed to allocate and direct your financial resources based on planned financial goals. 28

Most businesses that are experiencing financial difficulties, especially at this economic downturn may have been forced into such situation due to lack of financial planning, or inability to stick with their planned financial objectives. Obviously, it is easy to become lazy along the way, especially when you feel that your business is already on the right track. We sometimes forget that driving a vehicle not only require steering your vehicle, but also to watch for potholes and obstacles that may appear on your driving path way. Good financial planning and retooling of existing plan will curtail unexpected financial mishaps now and in the future, and will help you to evaluate your company’s present, and future financial obligations. Applying utmost discipline Many entrepreneurs often ignore the importance of financial planning, take their finances for granted. They prefer focusing their energy and resources on other functional areas of their business such as production, marketing, and administration. Entrepreneurs must ensure that financing priorities are established and maintained to align with the company’s goals and objectives. Maintaining such financing priorities takes tremendous discipline and focus. Spending is planned and controlled in accordance with established priorities, but not based on the outlook of the cash inflows. Good financial planning will enable you to control financial problems and achieve your financial goals. You may start by consistent savings, expense reduction, asset acquisition, tax planning, retirement planning, and debt management. You cannot hope to achieve financial freedom and/or financial independence in any business

venture, if you neglect to embark on strong financial planning. Financial planning requires acute discipline and utmost sacrifices of certain financial habits. Reason for financial planning The adage which states, “hang your coat according to your size” also applies in financial planning concepts. Planning for your company’s financial objectives is very essential, not only for your personal benefit, but for the benefit of your stakeholders and future beneficiaries. You must make certain sacrifices in life to achieve important financial objectives, as well as keeping your business afloat. As an entrepreneur, you should understand that you are not alone in terms of the difficulties in making accurate financial decisions at all times. But, making financial decisions should not be a gamble, but well structured objectives. Prior to establishing the business venture, all entrepreneurs have reasons and good objectives of putting their ideas into actions to build success. The same incentives should be applicable in keeping the business alive financially. Taking charge of your financial planning objectives is a good opportunity for your firm to achieve financial independence, as well as increase wealth; preserve assets; use credit prudently; exercise good risk management, including risk tolerance for investing; protection against personal risk for death, disability, income loss, medical care, property, and unemployment; and increase and control of wealth.


Tools for Financing Planning Experienced entrepreneurs will usually take time to estimate the cost for running their business; creating income and expense budget; making frequent projections of profit and cash estimation; developing a reliable collection technique and expense control program; maintaining a dependable accounting system; planning for retirement savings; and managing tax situations. Good financial planning is fundamental in determining your company’s present state, and where it should be at a determined future date. These may include the following planning tools: Cash Planning and Budgeting Cash budgeting is the process of forecasting your future expenses and savings. This entails knowing what you own, what you owe, and what is left after paying off your debt. Determining where you stand financially on monthly basis, and your future financial goals are very important. These may be accomplished by creating Cash-Flow/Net-Worth statements. Personal Cash Flow Statement The cash flow statement will en-

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The Personal Net-worth Statement is the same as the Balance Sheet in accounting. The net-worth statement enables you to set up separate schedule for your “Assets” (what you own), and “Liabilities” (what you owe). You should calculate your networth by subtracting your total liabilities from the total assets. Even though you may be preparing the net-worth statements on monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, it is advisable that you still keep track of your expenses on weekly basis. This would enable you to accurately determine where and how your money is being spent. You should consider taking note of every cent you spend. In summary, financial planning is the live wire of your business. A complete financial plan should contain well designed financial strategies. The financial planning strategies will be discussed in detail on the next publication of Entrepreneur’s Anchor magazine.

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able you to determine how you are spending your money on a regular basis. This is accomplished by setting-up a work-sheet, and recording your total monthly deposits (credit), and your total monthly withdrawals (debit) as they occur. Gathering and maintaining accurate record of your financial transactions are very important steps that will enable an accurate preparation of a cash flow, and other financial statements. The cash flow statement may be prepared monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually depending on the size of your financial transactions. The cash flow statement contains debit and credit entries of your transactions. For instance, the monies you receive and monies you spent. All incomes, such as wages, bonuses, and other income are recorded as a debit transaction in the cash flow statement, while the credit section will contain all expenses incurred. When preparing a cash flow statement, it is important to include budgeted and actual amount received and spent. This means that the statement should contain columns for budgeted and actual amount. Personal Net Worth Statement

29


Practice Areas

Business Process Development and Improvement

accounting

Accounting and Revenue Enhancement Accounting, Tax, and Business Consulting

Accounting, Tax, and Business Consulting Get expert advice to your questions about your finances. Each issue subscribers will have the opportunity to submit their questions and get advice from an expert.

Tax Compliance

Business Tax Planning and Consulting

All names and contact information will remain confidential. Please submit your questions to ethel@phanchor.com two weeks prior to upcoming issue. Thank you! Ethelbert Nwanegbo is currently the President and CEO of PowerHouse Anchor, a management consulting firm.

30


Breaking Ground – Building Green Success Story l Mary Tappouni In 1997, Mary Tappouni began Breaking Ground Contracting, a State of Florida Woman-owned business dedicated to the feminine principles of connectivity, community and excellence. Innovation and attention to detail are evident in every Breaking Ground project, and during the past few years, the diversity of the young company’s projects has been impressive. In addition to partnering with state, federal and municipal clients, BGC has constructed legal offices, fitness centers, retail spaces, medical facilities, park structures, Super Bowl venues and even renovated the control house on the Main Street Bridge. Throughout, she has never waivered from her vision of making environmentally sustainable decisions, whether on a project or in their headquarters at 4218 Highway Avenue in Jacksonville, Mary Tappouni expects everyone connected with Breaking Ground Contracting Company to be “green active.” Her passion for the environment is an integral part of the company’s daily philosophy, with employees being offered varying financial incentives that have included the purchases of fuel-efficient automobiles and utilizing environmentally compatible practices at home. To ensure that the vision flows out into the community as well, Tappouni consciously partners with non-profits and rewards employees for doing the same. To fully spread the word of sustainability, Tappouni created a division, Breaking Ground Education Services, hiring a full time Director in 2007. Dedicated to ‘green’ and safety related topics,’ the Education Division provides training in green

building, corporate social responsibility, LEED, NCCER, OSHA and other relevant classes to building owners, design professionals, builders, specialty contractors, realtors, city agencies and others in construction related fields. They have trained over 500 individuals and companies. In October of 2009 the education services division released “Me and Green”, the first in a series of books for children on creating a sustainable life. Wonderful response has already come in from educators, parents, teachers and experts in green living and education. Written by Award-winning author Therese Tappouni, with teacher and parent sections by the head of Breaking Ground Education Services Catherine Burkee, the book was the heart-child of Mary Tappouni. In the midst of all the fear-filled reports children hear on the environment, this book empowers them to take matters into their own small hands and make a difference. (The book is available at book outlets, and www.breakinggroundeducation.com) Breaking Ground, indeed! Tappouni developed an early interest in the male-dominated field of contracting through her parents, who owned a Mechanical Contracting firm. She followed that early interest, earning a degree in Building Construction at UNF. “Once I had that degree and became familiar with UNF and the surrounding community, I knew I wanted my own contracting company here, so I went after a second degree in Finance,” recalls the award-winning CEO. Her life-long interest in older homes has expanded into lovingly restoring their original beauty with

an underpinning of green technology, leading her to launch Breaking Ground Homes, another budding division of the parent company. The residential division is specifically geared toward historic green restorations and for homeowners who are looking for a true green builder. Throughout, Tappouni carefully plans the growth and outreach of her company. Expanding from one to thirteen full-time employees during the past 12 years, BGC has experienced revenue growth at an average of 56% annually The phenomenal success of Breaking Ground Contracting Company has been lauded and applauded by nearly every entrepreneurial and business organization on the First Coast and further, with the company receiving over 20 awards during the past six years including five Jacksonville Business Journal Awards, three Associated Builders & Contractors National Gold and Platinum STEP Safety Awards, and, in 2009, the Women in Business Best Entrepreneur Award, The Associated Builders and Contractors Excellence in Construction Award for Tritt/Henderson Phased Office Renovations, UNF Outstanding Alumna of the year for the college of Computing, Engineering and Construction, the Sustainable Florida Best Practice Award from the Collins Center and the SBA Small Business Person of the Year Award for the State of Florida. Breaking Ground has formed strong partnerships with a hugely diverse public and private clientele, including governmental and institutional organizations, park and recreation departments, health and fitness 31


facilities, medical and legal offices and other specialty clients. Within the community, her company has also availed itself of the finest in legal, accounting, marketing and consulting professionals when expert advice was warranted. As to her advice to others who are contemplating going into business, and are seeking the secrets to the success that her business has achieved, Mary Tappouni simply reiterates her basic philosophy: “Love what you

do, walk the talk, always strive to be better, take care of your client and be part of everything good in your community.�

Photo (l-r) Ethelbert Nwanegbo & Mary Tappouni

stock photo courtesy of morguefile.com

32


Result-Only Work Environment by Steve Schoenly

ROWE, or Results-Only Work Environment, (also known as Results Oriented Work Environment), is a management strategy created by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson of CultureRx, a consulting firm (and part of the big-box retailer Best Buy, surprisingly). Most American companies still embrace the idea that the formula for maximizing employee output is to ensure that each employee put in as much “face time” during business hours as possible. In this philosophy, managers spend almost as much time ensuring that staff personnel are “productive” and present as they do focusing on outcomes. Ressler and Thompson believed that this wasn’t the answer. They developed ROWE based on a simple proposition; employees simply need to be given measurable, carefully defined projects, and then be allowed almost complete flexibility in completing those projects. In this model, employees are paid for results (output) rather than the number hours worked. The goal is to keep workers who deliver results. ROWE in practice means “each person is free to do whatever they want, whenever they want as long as the work gets done.” Employees control their own calendars, and are not required to be in the office if they can complete their tasks elsewhere. With smartphones, Wi-Fi hotspots and the almost universal availability of home high-speed Internet connections, the ability of knowledge workers to complete their work remotely has increased dramatically in recent years. Most of the work of an average whitecollar employee can be performed just as easily at their neighborhood Starbucks as it can be in the office. What are the benefits of ROWE? Reduced commute time, happier employees, reduced overhead for workers at their desks, and a focus on results rather than face time are the immediate benefits. Employees are free to organize their working hours to fit their personal lives, reducing stress and allowing them to focus on work without worrying about making it to pick up children from day care. Companies can afford to reduce office space. The need to provide every

single employee with a cubicle can be ended in favor of hoteling arrangements, where workers reserve an office only on days they truly need to be in the office. So who objects to ROWE? Some of the strongest objections to ROWE may come from employees. Right now, many employees show up to work and know that the work must expand to fill those core eight hours. They know they’ll be paid the same if they take 40 hours to complete a task or 8 – so why not stretch it out to “look busy”. In a ROWE environment, an employee will be given a goal: complete this report by Thursday, for example. An employee who can’t manage his own time and can’t deliver on his projects won’t be able to hide in this system. Managers will spend more time reviewing the quality of results and less time ensuring that employees aren’t browsing the web on company time. Entitlement – the idea that you deserve your salary, no matter how much or little you work in a given week – will be a thing of the past in a ROWE environment. Many employees are expected to be on-site simply so that management knows that they are “working”, when in reality employees might be able to complete their tasks in a couple of hours a day. But as long as companies expect “core hours,” inefficiency will be built into the system. Employees will be overpaid and the incentive will be to slow any work not associated with a deadline as much as possible to fill up eight hour days. ROWE certainly seems like a step in the right direction. Large companies like IBM, AT&T, and Sun have embraced ROWE with amazing results, saving millions by allowing some employees to work wherever they want, at their own pace. Most remarkably, Best Buy has been using ROWE in its corporate office for all of its corporate employees since 2006. Voluntary turnover has dropped drastically and productivity has increased substantially. The idea has spread into popular culture, as seen by the popularity of books like The Four Hour Workweek. If widely adopted, ROWE may change the way many people look at em-

ployment. Many knowledge workers in particular will be freelancers or independent consultants with specialized skills, free to work for more than one ROWEfriendly organization. Those who choose to remain as traditional, salaried employees will be treated more and more like freelancers through the use of workplace philosophies like ROWE. The lack of easily obtainable and affordable health insurance is one of the main factors that motivates people to remain as traditional employees, along with the need for “stability” – a myth in the age of layoffs and downsizing. ROWE fixes one problem: employee dissatisfaction with core hours. What it doesn’t fix is the problem of salary inequality. Someone who works 20 hours a week at the same skill level as someone who works 60 hours a week shouldn’t be paid the same. ROWE seems to assume that salaries are the norm - you’re paid a flat rate to do project work. The more logical idea will be to start paying employees an hourly rate for effective time. If you need three hours to complete a project, you get paid for three hours’ work. If ROWE tells you that you get paid for a full eight-hour day when you only needed three hours to complete your work, then ROWE is doomed to failure. The future of American work is - hopefully - the smart convergence of a flexible workplace with government-provided healthcare and diligent knowledge-based workers. Freelancers, or semi-freelancers, will provide services to companies on an as-needed basis without fears about health care or retirement savings. Only time will tell if this is what everyone wants - to be paid for what they accomplish, rather than just the amount of time they are clocking in at the job. Recent history says no, but the trend seems to be moving in the direction of assuming that most people want to be paid for delivering the goods, not just for showing up. ROWE can improve employee’s lifestyles while maximizing their productivity, and what employer wouldn’t prefer that?

33


Independent Contractor or Employee? by Ethelbert Nwanegbo

Business owners and employers are sometimes faced with the problem of differentiating and understanding the indicators that might help in applying the appropriate legal standard in the determination of a worker’s employment status. The legal standards that helps in solving this puzzle goes through constant amendment and changes; thus, requiring that an employer reviews the regulatory requirement from time to time. Making legally correct determination of a worker’s classification is crucial to business owners and employers to avoid fines and other impacts to the business from the Internal Revenue Service. The Internal Revenue Code that helps business owners or employers apply the correct worker classification is Section 530 of the Internal Revenue Act of 1978. “Section 530 provides businesses with relief from federal employment tax obligations if certain requirements are met. It terminates the business���s, not the worker’s employment tax liability under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Subtitle C (Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) taxes, federal income tax withholding, and Railroad Retirement Tax Act taxes) and any interest or penalties attributable to the liability for employment taxes (Rev. Proc. 85-18, 1985-1 C.B. 518).” Applying The Rule The following rules must be applied to determine if a worker is an independent contractor or employee: • Independent Contractor - An individual is an independent contractor if you, the person for whom the services are performed, have the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not the means and meth34

ods of accomplishing the result. As a general rule, lawyers, contractors, auctioneers, and subcontractors in an independent trade or business, and offers their service to the public are generally not employees. • Employee An individual is an employee if you can control the task to be performed and how it will be performed. The key here is that the employer has control and right to outcome, method, and other details of how the services or tasks will be performed. There are three tests used in the determination of degree of control and independence described above. Test 1- Behavioral This is described as the employer’s ability to control or possession of the right to control what the worker does and how the worker performs the job. Test 2- Financial This is described as the employer’s ability to control things like when the worker is paid, how the worker is paid, ownership and provision of tools used for the performance of the task, and whether business related expenses are reimbursed. Test 3- Type of Relationship This is described as the existence of contractual agreements or employee type benefits in the contracts or arrangement, contract period, and whether the work performed is a key aspect of the business. Unable to Determine a Worker Classification The IRS requires a business owner or an employee who is unable to determine a worker classification after the application of the three tests above to file form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes. The form could either be filed by the employer

or work. The burden of determination of the worker status rests with the IRS after the completion of the review of the business relationship or facts. What You Should Know It is critical that an employer or business owner applies the right worker classification before making any form of payment. The determination of work classification is crucial to the determination of appropriate tax application which varies based on the worker’s classification. The understanding of the business relationship that exist between the employer and the worker is important in determining how to treat payments made for services received from the worker. For a worker with employee classification, the business owner or employer is required to withhold income taxes, withhold and pay social security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on wages paid to the employee. The rule is different if a worker is classified as an independent contractor. Generally, employers do not have to withhold taxes or pay taxes on wages paid to an independent contractor. Misclassification of Employees Consequences of Treating an Employee as an Independent Contractor The cost of misclassification of employees could be huge and material depending on the employee status taken. If a worker is misclassified as an independent contractor, and there is no reasonable basis for doing so, the employer may be held liable for employment taxes for that worker (the relief provisions, discussed below, will not apply).


Relief Provisions If a worker status is misclassified, and there are reasonable basis for the misclassification, the employer may be relieved from having to pay employment taxes for that worker. For the relief provision of section 530 to apply, certain conditions must be met. • Consistency: The employer must file all required forms 1099 (reporting consistency), treat all workers in similar positions the same (substantive consistency).

• Reasonable Basis Test: The employer must reasonably rely on one of the following: prior audit safe haven, judicial precedent safe haven, industry practice safe haven, or other reasonable basis. Meeting the consistency and reasonable basis tests described above will give the employer relief from employment taxes with respect to the workers whose status is in question.

 

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Face to Face Networking: The Underappreciated Business Skill by Kevin Monahan

Management, recordkeeping, research, finance are all areas of entrepreneurial expertise everyone agrees you must know in order to succeed. You can find classes and workshops covering these topics in great detail both online and through your local Small Business Development Center. A frequently overlooked skill is networking. I’m not talking about the kind of networking where you get two or more computers to interact with each other, I mean face to face interaction between yourself and other people. I believe that not only is networking an overlooked skill, all business owners should possess the skill of networking. It is the secret to small business success. Professional networking coach Larry James defines networking as “using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals, as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return! “ That is a great definition, but let’s just say the networking makes a small world even smaller and go from there. In the last two years, there has been a huge emphasis on social networking. Small businesses are using LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook and other social tools to make contacts and reach new audiences for their goods and services. While using technology to network is good, far too many people use social networking the wrong way, hiding behind their computer screens and substituting virtual relationships for real ones. I’ll be writing more on Social networking and how to use it in the future, but suffice it to say that social networking is merely an advance in technology allowing you to accelerate your meeting face to face with someone. Real communication happens when people meet each other physically. It is how credibility is established, trust is created, business relationships are forged and deals get done. 36

Working the Room Get out from behind your computer and attend a live networking event. Chambers of commerce, networking clubs, churches and service organizations each hold events at least once a month. Before you head out to a networking even you need business cards. Carry many and leave the rest of the box in your car so you always have cards within reach. Leave your brochures in the car. Nobody wants to carry around extra paper while they are trying to meet people. Wear a name tag that looks professional and easy for someone to read. You can get one made at any promotional products business, UPS Store or Office Depot. Here are ten tips for good face to face event networking: Have a networking objective What is your message? How can you concisely describe what you do? What do you have to offer. Think about that and rehearse a 15 second summary. Do you have a new product or service that you want to promote? Arrive early and leave late Most networking events have a program and/or a guest speaker. The best networking occurs before and after the program. Getting there early allows you to meet other eager networkers. Staying afterward also lets you access people for conversation. Keep in mind that they too are staying around for a reason. Be fearless Believe it or not, nearly 88% of people state they are shy in certain situations. Don’t assume everyone in the room has known each other forever, and you are the only stranger in the room. Walk up to someone and introduce yourself. Consider volunteering to help with the event, it is a nice and easy way to get to know people, and will likely introduce you around. Listen The most effective networking tool you own is your ears. People can tell if you are listening to them and take it as a complement that you show interest. Don’t

be afraid to make notes on the person’s card given to you. You will need it later to follow up. Quality not quantity I would rather have one meaningful conversation than 15 bad ones. Don’t try to talk to everyone, you won’t have time. Create a few solid contacts and follow up with them later. Never gossip If networking makes a small world even smaller, then the speed at which gossip travels is multiplied. Do not badmouth your competition or speak ill of anyone-it will come back to haunt you. Don’t barge into a conversation Size up two or more people speaking to each other before you enter the conversation. Read their facial expressions. They may be talking about something very important that has nothing to do with you. Stand near them and if you are not brought into the conversation immediately, move on. Try again in a few minutes. Don’t be a hummingbird Give cards to people only if they ask for one or you have offered to be a resource. I have seen many people put their card in everyone’s hands and declare victory without having any meaningful interaction. I call those people hummingbirds. They zip from person to person. That is poor networking, and the chances that people will keep that card are low. Follow up Don’t wait a month to talk to the same people again. Contact them and ask them to meet you for coffee and learn more about each other. Social networking is a great tool for maintaining contact between meetings. Face to face networking Face to face networking is a great way to create new business opportunities and increase your business community knowledgebase. It can be a fun and rewarding activity if you learn to do it properly.


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Practice Compassion by Coach Jay

Morning ritual. Greet each morning with a ritual. Try this one, suggested by the Dalai Lama: “Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, and I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” Then, when you’ve done this, try one of the practices below.  Seek to understand another’s suffering. The first step in cultivating compassion is to develop understanding for your fellow human beings. Many of us believe that we have empathy, and on some level nearly all of us do. But, many times we are centered on ourselves (I’m no exception), and we let our sense of selfless understanding get rusty. Try this practice: Imagine that a loved one is suffering. Something terrible has happened to him or her. Now try to imagine the pain they are going through. Imagine the suffering in as much detail as possible. After doing this practice for a couple of weeks, you should try moving on to imagining the suffering of others you know, and not just those who are close to you.  Commonalities practice. Instead of recognizing the differences between yourself and others, try to recognize what you have in common. At the root of it all, we are all human beings. We need food, shelter, and love. We crave attention, recognition, affection, and above all, happiness. Reflect on these commonalities you have with every other human being, and ignore the differences. One of my favorite exercise comes from a great article from Ode Magazine — it’s a five-step exercise to try when you meet friends and strangers. Do it discreetly and try to do all the steps with the same person. With your attention geared to the other person, try to remind yourself that just like you, the other person: Is seeking happiness in his/her life.

Is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.

Has known sadness, loneliness and despair. Is seeking to fill his/her needs. Is learning about life.

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Relief of suffering practice. Once you can empathize with another person, and understand his/her humanity and suffering, the next step is to want that person to be free from suffering. This is the heart of compassion. Try this exercise: Imagine the suffering of a human being you’ve met recently. Now imagine that you are the one going through that suffering. Reflect on how much you would like that suffering to end. Reflect on how happy you would be if another human being desired your suffering to end, and acted upon it. Open your heart to that human being, and if you feel even a little that you’d want their suffering to end, reflect on that feeling. That’s the feeling that you want to develop. With constant practice, that feeling can be grown and nurtured.  Act of kindness practice. Now that you’ve gotten good at the 4th practice, take the exercise a step further. Imagine again the suffering of someone you know or met recently. Imagine again that you are that person, and are going through that suffering. Now imagine that another human being would like your suffering to end — perhaps your mother or another loved one. What would you like for that person to do to end your suffering? Now reverse roles: you are the person who desires for the other person’s suffering to end. Imagine that you do something to help ease the suffering, or end it completely. Once you get good at this stage, practice doing something small each day to help end the suffering of others, even in a tiny way. Even a smile, or a kind word, or doing an errand or chore, or just talking about a problem with another person. Practice doing something kind to help ease the suffering of others. When you are good at this, find a way to make it a daily practice, and eventually a throughout-the-day practice.


. x a l re

stock photo courtesy of morguefile.com

Those who mistreat us practice. The final stage in these compassion practices is to not only aspire to ease the suffering of those we love and meet, but even those who mistreat us. When we encounter someone who mistreats us, instead of acting in anger, withdraw. Later, when you are calm and detached from the situation, reflect on that person who mistreated you. Try to imagine the background of that person. Try to imagine what that person was taught as a child. Try to imagine the mood and state of mind that person was in — the suffering that person must have been going through to mistreat you that way. Understand that their action was not about you, but about what they were going through. Now think about the suffering of that poor person, and see if you can imagine trying to stop the suffering of that person. Then, reflect on how you would feel if you mistreated someone, and the person acted with kindness and compassion toward you; would that make you less likely to mistreat that person the next time, and more likely to be kind to that person. Once you have mastered this practice of reflection, try acting with compassion and understanding the next time a person mistreats you. Do it in little doses, until you are good at it. Practice makes perfect.  Evening routine. I highly recommend that you take a few minutes before you go to bed to reflect upon your day. Think about the people you met and talked to, and how you treated each other. Think about your goal that you stated this morning, to act with compassion towards others. How well did you do? What could you do better? What did you learn from your experiences today? And if you have time, try one of the above practices and exercises. These compassionate practices can be done anywhere, any time. At work, at home, on the road, while traveling, while at a store, while at the home of a friend or family member. By sandwiching your day with a morning and evening ritual, you can frame your day properly, in an attitude of trying to practice compassion and develop it within yourself. With practice, you can begin to do it throughout the day, and throughout your lifetime.  

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Seeking happiness in his/her life. Trying to avoid suffering in his/her life. Has known sadness, loneliness and despair. Seeking to fill his/her needs. Learning about life. 40

synergy Mind, Body and Soul Get expert advice to your questions about creating synergy in the workplace. Each issue subscribers will have the opportunity to submit their questions and get advice from an expert. All names and contact information will remain confidential. Please submit your questions to nisaikohn@msn.com two weeks prior to upcoming issue. Thank you! Coach Jay is currently the CEO of The Bordes-Kohn Foundation. He is a Life Coach, Author & Speaker.


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calendar of events

march March 26 Effective Grant Writing for Nonprofits University of North Florida (UNF) 9:00am - 12:00pm

March 26 4th Annual Workforce & Education Forum: Game Changing Leadership Effective Grant Clay County Chamber of Commerce 8:00am - 12:00pm March 31 The Ponte Vedra Beach Chamber Annual Dinner and Awards Ponte Vedra Beach Chamber of Commerce 6:30pm

april

April 1 BFA Art Exhibit; The seniors will lecture on their work on April 12, 13 and 14 at 5:30 pm in Fine Arts Hall. Jacksonville University 5:00pm -7:00 pm April 2 Easter Eggstravaganza City Of Jacksonville 6:00 pm April 8 Professional Networking Meeting First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 6:00 pm April 19 Tax Compliance Beaver Street Enterprise Center 10:30am-12:00pm ethel@phanchor.com • (904) 265 -0765 April 21 Web Strategy Beaver Street Enterprise Center 9:00am-12:00pm

April 22 Personal Branding Workshop for Professional Women Fairfield Inn & Suites (Jacksonville Airport) 6:00pm - 7:30pm (904) 860-8440 • www.mygani.com

may

May 12 14 Steps to Accelerating Your Business Growth Beaver Street Enterprise Center 10:30am-12:00pm ethel@phanchor.com or (904)265 -0765 May 13 Small Business Week University of North Florida (UNF) 9:00am-12:00pm May 13 18th Annual Small Business Week Celebration University of North Florida (UNF) 6:00pm May 21 Starting A Successful Nonprofit... University of North Florida (UNF) 9:00am-12:00pm

june

June 3 Developing an Effective Marketing Plan Beaver Street Enterprise Center 10:30am-12:00pm ethel@phanchor.com or (904)265 -0765 June 3 Saving Tax Dollars with My Business Form (Status) Beaver Street Enterprise Center 10:30am-12:00pm ethel@phanchor.com or (904)265 -0765

If you would like to have an event listed in Entrepreneurs Anchor Magazine email information to info@entrepreneursanchor.com 20 days prior to the next issue. 42


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For more information or to subscribe to Entrepreneurs Anchor Magazine call us at (904) 265-0765 or visit www.entrepreneursanchor.com

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Entrepreneurs Anchor Magazine March 2010